Libby betting

Closing arguments drove the market estimate of the probability of a conviction up to 80%.

The InTrade “Libby Guilty” contract is now trading at 79 bid, 83 asked; that is, if you’re willing to bet on acquittal you can get 4-to-1 odds. That’s a life-of-contract high; back in October, you could have bought “Libby Guilty” for 20 cents.

The closing arguments seem to have driven the price much higher; not surprising, from some of the eyewitness accounts.

Footnote Now that on-line betting is thoroughly illegal, I’d never think of doing any myself, but someone ought to review the history of InTrade legal contracts. My sense is that they’re generally biased toward the defense, especially early in a case. Flat-out acquittals are actually much rarer than you’d guess. You can buy “DeLay.Guilty.Laundering” for 33 cents; the bid is only 25 cents. Those seem like very attractive odds.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: